Restaurants & Bars China & Southeast Asia

Bettys [Hong Kong]

PhilD | | Jun 4, 2011 08:26 PM

Located in the IFC Bettys is Alan Yau's first restaurant in HK. Alan made his name by founding Wagamama in London before selling and moving on to open other restaurant like the Michelin starred modern cantonese restaurants Hakkasan and Yauatcha. So it is interesting that his first venture in the city he was born in should be European.

We headed there for a late brunch a few Sundays ago and really enjoyed the meal. It is a very light modern space with a harbour view, lots of whimsical design touches, and crates of fresh fruit and veg as decorations. It was quite full at lunchtime with lots of families, and whilst service stared off well it fell apart as the meal wore on. We had a couple of largish starters (I think they are meant to be mains) including a low temperature cooked egg with ham, and a good tomato and Burrata salad with wonderful fresh cheese (although the heirloom tomatoes could have been a bit better). We followed with pretty good steaks and then some good cheese - all in all very satisfying.

We followed up with a Saturday dinner, the menu is different but still stays in the modern French/Spanish vein. The dishes in the evening are more complex and very well presented. A pea soup poured over lobster and garnishes at the table, a cheese souffle served alongside a pool side of cheese sauce with ham, mushroom and asparagus garnishes. For mains a whole roast chicken served in a cast iron casserole, cannelloni with sweetbreads and carabineros (large Spanish red prawns) and some very well presented lamb. All the dishes were excellent and again really challenge the standards of most of the mid tier European restaurants in HK (we ate at Isola earlier in the week and were very underwhelmed), but sensible to watch the bill as we racked up $2,100 for lunch (we explored the wine list) then $1,600 for dinner.

The wine list is good and well priced. It is nice to get away from endless Bordeaux and Burgundy so good to see some interesting selections - I am sorry to say they have run out of the Albarino at $340 (I think we drank it all). Service was better in the evening although the restaurant wasn't packed, irritatingly they seem to fill the tables closest to the door first. I can see why they do it as the sight of a busy room will attract the punters. But with the large open door space looking into a mall it does reinforce the fact you are eating in a shopping centre which jars a bit with the atmosphere they are trying to create.

good place - useful to have on the list for some good food in central

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